The Blue Tower

The Blue Tower

The work of this “eminent, still-wild spirit of Central Europe” (Publishers Weekly) continues to electrify. In The Blue Tower, language is remade with tenderness and abandon: “Rommel was kissing heaven’s dainty hands and yet / from his airplane above the Sahara my uncle / Rafko Perhauc still blew him to bits.” There is an effervescence and a sense of freedom to Tomaž Salamun’s poetry that has made him an inspiration to successive generations of American poets, “a poetic bridge between old European roots and the American adventure” (Associated Press). Trivial and monumental, beautiful and grotesque, healing, ferocious, mad: The Blue Tower is an essential volume.

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  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547727516

  • ISBN-10: 0547727518

  • Pages: 96

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 10/04/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 1

Tomaz Salamun

Tomaz Salamun

Tomaž Šalamun was born in 1941 in Zagreb. He has published over thirty books of poetry and frequently teaches at American universities, including Pittsburgh, Richmond, and Texas.
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  • excerpts


    To provoke the pasture’s ladder, to wash out the cat’s message,

    What you hear through the walls is panic coming here.

    In Morocco he whipped slaves. First I open the chest.

    The ribs turn gray. I hold tight to the shovels, birds rip them from

    my hands. I saw nomads, women on horseback. The dog days will come dressed in a

    T-shirt. I’ll show your hand, my hand is your hand.

    Who drinks foliage through the silver of trees? A carriage couldn’t

    race by here, the brambles would wreck it. A believer

    climbs the fence, look at that big little trumpet flaring its

    nostrils. Debar clings to terraces, the house is full

    of snails. Snow is beautiful. The moon calms his lips.

    You flash him signals for cricket, eat chickens at midnight.

    Isn’t the wood for bramblebees rowing the river?

    They think nothing of closing the eyebrows of someone like you.


    To chop up cotton and read through a cookbook.

    To be running behind and hang from your lower jaw.

    I’m free to drink bottoms up. Ganymede

    gets stuck in a summerhouse. And oh how flowers grew by the

    pathways. Do you see how I lopped off their heads?

    Do you see how I step on his scalp as an officer?

    They poured streams of hot water on me to harden my

    mustache. They peeled the enamel off Cassandra’s tooth.

    By god, she marches over purple plums. She salutes and

    keeps marching on the purple plums. A washed pot, if

    you shine a deer in it, vomits craquelures back in your

    mouth and eyes. King of the news, hitch up your sleigh, trample

    the taffeta

    and yarrow. There are petals in the cups. They beckon to a feast

    of the moon. Elongated horses are the hairstyle around

    the moon. Giants fight over cards. Giants rake

    leaves. The rakes may go, the sand remains, the rakes

    may go, the earth remains. Bang! goes a rake handle, and hits

    a giant in the head, because somebody stepped on the

    rake tines. Doves are the tiles between cathedrals. Woodsmen

    bend down, get up, bend down, the town hall is split on its

    peak. A peacock takes pity on a lake. Replace

    tooth with fake gemstone, woodsman with wooden

    boat. Mists rampage in the comics. The horse is fond

    of white. A beggar banging with a stick on the edge of

    a bell has sand and rain pouring from his hat.

    Gums are a cozy nest. Draw little jugs out of the clay. The Turks

    made off with Srebrna while she drank at a well.


    I’ve invented a machine that, as soon as a goldfinch opens

    its throat, starts dumping bags of concrete inside. Who licked the candies

    into concrete, we don’t know. Who then brought

    the concrete to life, we don’t know. The goldfinch sails. The goldfinch

    sings. Where are you, Eugenijus? Racing across, opening

    a hollow with your fingernails. You the pain of the contour, me

    that of the train. Linda Bierds drives a car that comes

    from the Tatras. The condor ripens the bird. My trousers smell like

    gasoline. Do you see the pool? Do you see the pool? Do you see

    the angel’s elbow? It led me to those cliffs arrayed

    like Vikings. Zebras have scraped eyes.

    Ibrahim, Drago and Miklavž are great guys.

    Iodine boils a bird’s head. It dies in the mud. I

    swallow bread. What did you see in the inner

    darkness to earn it? A bifurcation for

    both and the bent, silver-plated head of a

    walking stick? Boxes of honey delivered

    by parachute, which deer antlers

    provided? Pythagoras is plunder. A cat licks

    his ears all summer and winter. Pins directed

    the bloodflow of saints. Stones erode

    on the shoals. I shove Diran’s head away from

    the table. This clump is a tombolo. And that

    pigeon on the plate. Mother of pearl. Gray head.


    Every ball is a bloody, beautiful mask of powerful people.

    We make up pretzels.

    I always did like chickens.

    O, slender fez, mildew perching on its fur.

    The poet is an oafish celeb on a hood.

    Of every wondrous power. On a hood.

    I glance over my right shoulder and see

    a lake with the canon bathing in it.

    The marmots that shot past me weren’t

    marmots. Come on, god, sail off to abstraction.

    Stepfather! Your mouthful eats soup, you only see it.

    Nem Keckeget arrives in Japan and jumps down.

    Us Us darns stockings. Here are the teeth of the

    iron comb that still remembers the station

    and steam, but for Cendrars no longer matters.

    The only thing now is that you can’t just

    pleasantly say, “if you’d take off that shirt,

    too,” the way Marci and Hudi said it to me.

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547727516

  • ISBN-10: 0547727518

  • Pages: 96

  • Price: $9.99

  • Publication Date: 10/04/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 1

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